LOS ANGELES – Speaking to the media for the first time since Rockets general manager Daryl Morey sent a tweet after a deleted tweet in support of protests in Hong Kong, Lakers striker LeBron James made it clear that he believed Moe's actions were reckless.
"I believe he was either misinformed or brought up in the situation," James says in a rare press conference before the Lakers' preseason game against the Warriors.
Asked if he thought the league should blame Morey, James replied that it would depend on the league office, but added that he believed Morey was acting selfishly.
"So many people could be inflicted not only financially but physically, emotionally, spiritually," James said. "Watch what we tweet, what we say, what we do. Although, yes, we have freedom of expression, but there can be many negatives that come with it. "
Monday night was the first time a player or coach in China spoke publicly about the controversy surrounding the NBA and the Chinese government. Last week in Japan, league commissioner Adam Silver supported Morey's "freedom of expression".
China responded by canceling events surrounding the Lakers and Nets' visit to the country for preseason games, including the availability of post-game media with players and coaches. A press conference with Silver was also canceled. While the games were still being played, they were not broadcast on Chinese television.
James and Lakers coach Frank Vogel said they didn't know if the games would eventually be canceled, but they continued as if they were playing. However, several business activities for individual players were lacking. Even with teams back in the States, the league is still clashing.
Although the warriors have not been to China, coach Steve Kerr is still in the middle of a dispute after President Trump criticized him at both a press conference and Twitter, saying the coach looked like a "scared little boy" when answering questions about the question.
In many respects, the United States Government and the Chinese Government have been critical of dealing with the NBA. The result is that the players, coaches and league owners seem to have come together to defend themselves. Star players mostly defend Silver's approach from Tweets. James did the same on Monday, but he was also clearly critical of Morey.
The Lakers have played the War less than 48 hours after returning to the United States. Asked if he believed he was sending teams to play preseason games in China, Kerr said he had done so, and recalled when two years ago the warriors returned from their trip to the country in much less tense conditions.
“We returned from China two years ago and had a game maybe three or four days later. It was hard. It took us about a week to overcome the scales, "Kerr said." I don't envy them tonight. "